Although the dielectric constant of plasma depends on electron collision time as well as wavelength and plasma density, experimental studies on the electron collision time and its effects on laser-matter interactions are lacking. Here, we report an anomalous regime of laser-matter interactions generated by wavelength dependence (1.2–2.3 µm) of the electron collision time in plasma for laser filamentation in solids. Our experiments using time-resolved interferometry reveal that electron collision times are small (<1 femtosecond) and decrease as the driver wavelength increases, which creates a previously-unobserved regime of light defocusing in plasma: longer wavelengths have less plasma defocusing. This anomalous plasma defocusing is counterbalanced by light diffraction which is greater at longer wavelengths, resulting in almost constant plasma densities with wavelength. Our wavelength-scaled study suggests that both the plasma density and electron collision time should be systematically investigated for a better understanding of strong field laser-matter interactions in solids.
Wavelength scaling of electron collision times in filament-produced plasma in solids
We report an anomalous regime of laser-matter interactions, which is created by the wavelength dependence of electron collision time during filamentation in solids. Experiments are performed using femtosecond-time-resolved interferometry by varying the filament driver wavelength from 1.2 to 2.3 μm and using a 0.8-μm probe. Information on the phase and absorption via interferometry enables simultaneous measurements of plasma densities and electron collision times during filamentation. Although it is expected that the plasma density decreases with increasing wavelength due to larger plasma-defocusing at longer wavelengths [1-4], our measured plasma densities are nearly constant for all the pump wavelengths. This observation is successfully explained by the measured wavelength-dependence of electron collision time: electron collision times in filament-produced plasma decrease with increasing wavelength, which creates an anomalous regime of plasma-defocusing where longer wavelengths experience smaller plasma defocusing. In addition, simulations with the measured electron collision times successfully reproduce the observed plasma density scaling with wavelength .  L. Bergé et al., Phys. Rev. A 88, 023816 (2013).  Y. E. Geints et al., Appl. Opt. 56, 1397 (2017).  S. Tochitsky et al., Nat. Photonics 13, 41 (2019).  R. I. Grynko et al., Phys. Rev. A 98, 023844 (2018).  Nagar et more »
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Wavelength scaling of electron collision time in plasma for strong field laser-matter interactions in solids
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